The Myth of B2B Copywriting

As a copywriter, I get asked to write all manner of things. One day I could be writing about Risk and the financial markets, the next it could be cosmetic surgery, recruitment and architectural rendering.

But one thing always makes me smile, and that’s when I get emails asking for my B2B (Business to Business selling) experience.

Why does that make me smile?

Mainly because, in my view, B2B and B2C (Business to consumer) copywriting is one and the same.

[Gasp!]

Why do I think that? Let me explain.

B2B and B2C are the same

The aim of copywriting, regardless of whether you are working in a B2B or B2C market, is the same – to sell.

So there is the first amazing revelation dealt with.

The next is that, even though you’re writing for a B2B market, you are still trying to sell to a person. Don’t believe me? OK, answer these questions:

  • Can a company physically buy something from you?
  • Can a company meet you for a coffee whilst you talk business?
  • Can a company sign that all important contract to confirm your sale?

I think you’ll find the answer to all of those questions is a big fat, resounding NO.

It all boils down to the fact that your copy has to convince a person within the company; therefore you are selling to a person. And as such, the copy you write is no different to if you were selling direct to the public.

Granted, your benefits will be orientated towards what’s in it for the business as opposed to the person you’re speaking (mind you, assuming your product is going to make the business more profitable, he/she will have a vested interest as it may well lead to a whopping bonus for them).

So, just as if you were writing to a consumer audience, your copy should be:

  1. Brief – you are writing to people at work so they will be time limited.
  2. Human, because business people are – they also make decisions partially for personal reasons (as mentioned above) so tap into reason and emotion for the best results.
  3. Full of benefits – buy this and you’ll save money, save time, make bigger profits, reduce staff turnover, and improve productivity…

In my humble opinion, all you have to do is keep it plain and simple, avoid clichés and, whatever you do, do not let any jargon slip into your copy.

Over to you

You’ve allowed me to rant on, but what do you think?

Do you agree that, essentially, copy should be the same regardless of whether it’s for a B2B or B2C market? Or do you think there are legitimate differences between the two?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear you take on this one.

 

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4 comments ↓

#1 Janjan on 12.04.11 at 9:25 pm

Yes very true, B2B & B2c copywriting & marketing is just the same because your writing to sell. Both for business & consumers. But thanks for sharing on how to write for consumers, making it different on the other is very effective.
Nice Post.

#2 Janjan on 12.04.11 at 9:26 pm

Yes very true, B2B & B2c copywriting & marketing is just the same because your writing to sell. Both for business & consumers. But thanks for sharing on how to write for consumers, making it different on the other is very effective. Thanks for sharing
Nice Post.

#3 Alia Curtis on 04.06.16 at 10:18 pm

I disagree that a flat statement like that can be made because one is direct selling and the other is indirect. The approach, language and message is totally different copy. B2B has to be written in stages, according to the phase of buying the potential client is in and it must be educational, whereas B2C – no stages just sell… now.

#4 admin on 04.07.16 at 7:49 am

Thanks Alia, but B2C should also be about education. Few people are going to buy something just because you tell them too. Today’s consumer is very savvy, they want information, they want proof and they want to know they can trust you before they buy. In the case of B2B and B2C you’re selling to a person – both approaches should be the same with the language tailored to the specific market you’re addressing.

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